WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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absentia and who comprise the 312 cases still capable of being prosecuted according to German law (crimes committed out of base motives or through carrying out Nazi dogma, such as the deportation of Jews).

The Franco-German legislative agreement signed on February 2, 1971, was a warning shot for the criminals and their protectors in German governmental and judicial circles. Back in 1967, the Federal Republic's foreign minister had sent a list of 1,026 Nazis who had been sentenced in France to the German Red Cross, which had hastened to warn each of them: "You have been sentenced in absentia in France. If you enter French territory you will be arrested and tried."

Ratification of that agreement, which was unpopular in the Federal Republic, had been delayed by a pressure group within the inner circles of the three parties represented in the Bundestag. But, sensing the threat that hung over the heads of the condemned, the German courts adopted a bold tactic: to discharge the case against one of the best known, Klaus Barbie, so that that decision could be cited as a precedent by other prosecuting bodies in similar cases. It was also a means of gauging whether the French were really serious.

I immediately realized that the Barbie case was a landmark, and that we would have to fight relentlessly to get the Munich investigation reopened.

That night I translated Rabl's ten pages, which became the first entry in my file. Serge and I decided to launch our campaign on three fronts: to gather and distribute as complete a documentation as possible on the Barbie case; to rouse public opinion in France and the Federal Republic through that documentation and especially through the reactions I would provoke in the Lyon area; and, finally, to attack the Munich court in whatever way might produce the best results.

We went back to the CDJC and assembled basic data designed to show the press and persons likely to react just who Barbie was. The data consisted of documents signed by Barbie that concerned the Jewish problem. Little by little, after painstaking research, we found many more papers in the Gestapo archives to add to our documentation. We also found passages in several books describing Barbie's role in the arrest and torture of Jean Moulin, including Laure Moulin's book about her brother; Henri Michel's Jean
     
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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